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Iranian MP: Plane purchase from France is a 'right step'

Tehran, March 5, IRNA -- Rapporteur of Majlis Development Commission Vali Azarvash said here Wednesday that the purchase of four French-build ATR-72 Turboprop aircraft is a 'right step'.

He said the planes are compatible for Iran's climate and 'can easily land in all airports throughout the country'.

He also said that the quality of ITR plans as much better than the domestically build Iran-140.

"The commission in discussion with aviation experts were convinced of the plane security standards," the MP said.

The Persian daily Entekhab reported Tuesday that the planes each costing about dlrs 17.7 million, were purchased from a European consortium with the aim of expanding the domestic fleet.

The Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has further leased two more planes of the same class, the daily said.

The deals defies American sanctions which have been in force against Iran for more than two decades, forcing the country to turn to mostly Russian- and Ukrainian-built airplanes.

The purchase also comes on the heels of several fatal plane crashes over years. Last month 276 personnel of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed aboard an Ilyushin-76 in southeastern province of Kerman.

The first of the purchased aircraft took off from Toulouse, France, and landed in Iran after a 7:15-hour flight without refuelling, the daily said.

ATR-72-500 is part of the ATR (Avions de Transport Regional) family which is built by consortium of companies from Italy, Canada and France. The aircraft are assembled in Airbus factory.

The turboprop aircraft consists of two US-made Pratt and Whitney with an engines capacity of 2,750 steam horse power. Externally, the plane is easily identified by its six-blade propellers.

According to an ATR website, dated December 2002, the aircraft is part of more than 100 airlines' fleet in over 70 countries and have logged more than 10 million flight hours, carrying over 450 million passengers.

... Payvand News - 3/6/03 ... --

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